Music Gear News
The Line 6 Powercab and Other FRFR Speakers in 2018
Line 6 has released the Line 6 Powercab 112 Speaker Cabinet and the Line 6 Powercab Plus Speaker Cabinet at this year's Musikmesse in Frankfurt. Each Powercab is an FRFR (full range flat response) speaker, designed for guitarists who use digital modelling systems to generate their tones.
In this article we'll have a look at the new Line 6 Powercab and review some alternate FRFR speaker options for 2018.
What is an FRFR setup?
An FRFR speaker is designed to reproduce the sound of a digital modelling system with the utmost clarity. The FRFR response means it can act as a traditional PA speaker, with any inputted signal accurately reproduced across the frequency spectrum. This type of system is ideal for digital modelling setups, where the whole signal chain of a classic guitar setup is recreated digitally - including the preamp, power amp, effects, speaker cab, and studio microphones.
It is the job of the FRFR cab to recreate this signal as accurately as possible - hence the reason why many guitarists plug directly into active PA speakers. However, the three products listed below are all guitar-specific devices and have more features than the average PA speaker - they are tailored for use with digital modelling.The Line 6 Powercab
The Line 6 Powercab is an active system and features a full-range 12'' custom hybrid coaxial driver coupled with a 2'' voice coil. This speaker setup can recreate the full range of a PA system but with a more tailored response and quicker attack to sympathetically reproduce your digital modelling amp simulation. Each cabinet delivers 250 watts of power and features a kick-back stand for direct positioning on stage.
6 built-in speaker models recreate the sound of classic guitar speakers, letting you disengage the speaker simulation of your digital modelling system to let the Powercab take on that part of the modelling chain. The Powercab Plus includes additional connectivity, letting you connect MIDI, AES/EBU Digital I/O, and a full USB audio interface. It also features 128 presets that can be configured to any of the three speaker modes (Flat, Speaker Modelling, IR). The special L6 LINK connection also provides a direct interface for use with any Line 6 Helix Processor.
The classic guitar cab looks of the Powercab means that digital modelling players will be able to get back the experience of using a traditional guitar cab, giving you the perfect hybrid system.
Laney LFR-112 Powered 1x12 Speaker Cab
The Laney LFR-112 was released at this year's NAMM trade show and features a traditional guitar speaker cab design. Inside the LFR-112 is a 12'' driver and a 1'' Lavoce compression driver, powered by a 200W power amp for a dynamic, loud, and accurate FRFR sound.
The Laney LFR-112 is similar to the Line 6 Powercab in that it is styled like a traditional guitar speaker - this is the ideal solution for traditional players and provides the experience of using a standard guitar cab. The LFR-112 also features XLR/jack outputs, a tilt-back stand, an AUX-in for music playback and a switchable cabinet emulation. If you don't require the multiple speaker emulations and connectivity options of the Line 6 Powercab, the Laney LFR-112 is a great alternative.
HeadRush FRFR 2000W
The HeadRush FRFR speaker cab was also released at this year's NAMM trade show. This speaker features an impressive 2000 watts of power and is designed to be the ideal complement to the HeadRush Pedalboard, or any other digital modelling system.
The HeadRush FRFR speaker features more power than the Line 6 Powercab and the Laney LFR-112, but it is styled like a standard PA stage monitor. While this may not deter all users, for players trying to maintain the traditional guitar cabinet aesthetic, the Powercab or the LFR-112 may be a better choice.
The HeadRush excels in its huge power output and its dual inputs, letting you use it as a traditional PA speaker or music playback device. The angled design is also perfect for stage use, providing the perfect mounting in multiple positions.
The best choice?
As is usual with guitar gear, the choice is down to you! All three systems provide an FRFR response that is ideal for digital modelling systems and music playback. The factors to consider include the volume you require, whether you like the look of a 'real' guitar cab, and whether you need the complete range of connectivity (and compatibility) provided by a device such as the Line 6 Powercab. We think all three systems have their merits for different applications.
See our complete range of Line 6 Equipment
By Matt Wilkinson
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